As a busy mom who at least tries to prepare and cook meals at home most days (even if those meals are sometimes of the microwavable variety), I’m always looking for easy ways to keep the messes to a minimum. Because for me, one of the downsides of cooking and preparing meals is all of the clean-up. I really got the hang of meal prep and clean-up when I did a whole30 recently and had to make all of my meals at home. I found that a couple little things went a long way in helping me keep the kitchen messes at bay, which in turn helped me stay sane and stick with it.
Make one big mess that you can eat from all week.
One thing I started doing was one big day of meal prep: chop lots of fresh veggies, cut up a big batch of fruit, cook a big meal in the crock pot — and then eat on that food for several days. That way I made one big mess, but I only had to clean up one big mess and then got to be mostly mess free the rest of the week. It also meant I had to do less food prep during the week and always had healthy meal options on hand for the family. If my son asks for mixed fruit like strawberries and grapes, it is so much easier to already have it washed and cut so I can just spoon it out for him. If I had to wash and cut fruit and veggies every time we wanted to eat them, I’d go nuts.
Clean up as you go.
I’m not one of those people who can leave a sink full of dishes alone all day or that just leaves breakfast messes until the end of the day. I’m tired at the end of the day, and the last thing I want to do is clean up a huge mess in the kitchen. So if I start the day with a clean dishwasher, then rinse and load dishes as I go, I have way less to do at the end of the day. I also like to wipe things down like the kitchen counter and the stove top, as I go. The CloroxⓇ Pump ‘N Clean™ Kitchen & Dish Cleaner makes this a breeze, because I leave it on my countertop and can just quickly pump and clean up with one hand as I’m doing meal prep. The convenience is brilliant and I also love that it’s food safe with no harsh chemical residues so you can quickly clean up messes and spills in the flow of cooking, even around food.
Make Things Organized and Easily Accessible.
If you have certain ingredients, spices, and other items you use constantly in your meal prep and clean-up, keep them easily accessible. We like to make smoothies in the morning, so I keep our blender on the counter rather than putting it away in the cupboard. I use a lot of coconut oil, sea salt, and garlic powder in my cooking, so I keep those on a small rolling island near the stove so I can grab them and put them away as I cook. Keeping things that you use daily easily within reach makes your life that much easier in the kitchen.
Know Your Limits.
Sometimes you just need to know when to order in or go out for pizza. And allowing yourself those days will keep you sane — no mom guilt or shame in that!
This post is sponsored by Clorox—helping you clean on the go for a happier home.